Monday 26 October 2015

A preview of Simbrix - Interconnecting bricks for creative sculptures

A preview of Simbrix - Interconnecting bricks for creative sculptures

Hello everyone,
This week I took a trip to Nottingham to check out the Gamecity event and the happenings at the National video games arcade. While there I made an amazing discovery, there was a stall showcasing Simbrix a toy/ creative tool currently raising money through Kickstarter.

Here is a couple of the sculptures which had already been make out of the Simbrix, a whole load of the bricks and the custom cloth bags that come with each kit to keep them all in. 
The Kickstarter is only active until the 11th of November so if you want to take advantage of the offers to Kickstarter Backers better hop over there fast: 

I spoke to Assim the inventor of this neat little toy and let me know that in fact the design has had 400 prototypes before coming up with the perfect one! When I mentioned the similarity in practical application between this and Hama/Perlier beads he mentioned that the idea was inspired by his children playing with their favorite bead sculpture kits and working out ways to improve them.

It's true that when not ironed
 normal peg bead sculptures can fall apart which does cause frustration for my younger nieces. More than once a pegboard has gotten jogged causing the beads to go flying which generally causes someone to fall out with someone else. (and good ol' Auntie Gemma picking them all up) So I am very much looking forward to grabbing a bag of these and see how they like these beads. They are bigger than a standard Hama/Perlier beads so bear in mind all sculptures will be bigger and bead for bead slightly more expensive. 
However the joy I found in these is that they are reusable when not ironed. It is easy to slide the beads apart again to create and re-create until you are totally happy. An unironed sculpture looks to be sturdy enough to place on a shelf or pop on display in an area it won't be heavily handled. 
 It is possible to iron the beads to make a solid plastic stricture. With our regular beads we would use the ironed piece for drinks coasters or to string up for Christmas decoration and it is easy to see that Simbrix can be used for similar functions. 

For a little comparison heres a picture of some of the many, many sculptures displayed in the Toast Bar at the National Videogames Arcade. You can easily see here that the Simbrix are larger 

Made of Simbrix in the picture is the Sword, minion and blonde girl. (or is this a game character I don't know? Let me know in the comments) The Professor Layton is made with more traditional beads.

Another comparison shot, The Pokeball here is made of Simbrix. I couldn't help think that White Mage is super adorable though. 

Finding designs to use with this set could not be simpler. Many of the example pieces I saw were made using pixel art from retro games which I know a lot of people use for existing bead kits. Simple pixel art pictures can also be used along with existing designs made for Minecraft pixel sculptures due to the blocky nature of the Minecraft bricks. 

 While at the moment the colour range isn't as large as the Hama range which is currently at 50+ colours. The Simbrix starter pack will contain 16 colours, incorporating dark and light versions of colours to allow for some simple shading.
 I even had a go at turning one of my own cross stitch designs into a piece of beaded art and as you can see by the start I made it they do translate really well from a cross stitch design with whole stitches only. I just didn't finish the design because a very polite little boy wanted to use the blue for a Pac man Ghost and well.. how could I say no?

Heres a link to the design in full:

I have ordered a really big bag of the beads to play with. Once the Kickstarter project is finished and bags are being sent out I'm definitely going to try out making some designs with Simbrix in mind, taking into account the colour selection and size of the bricks. So please pop back for them, I'll post them up here once I'm done. 

OOH look at all those colours!

Now don't be fooled by the fact that these bricks are referred to as a toy. While checking out the stall at the Arcade there were children and adults alike playing with the bricks and creating all of their own sculptures!

You don't just have to take my word for it though, My good friend Jason Silverain of the Sword and Torch inn has also written up a post about these lovely bricks. You can find the post here:

Important links: Go on pop on over you know you want to...

Simbrix Offical website:
Simbrix Kickstarter page:

National Videogames Arcade website:

 For the Buzy Bobbins Index page Click here. 

Saturday 17 October 2015

Happy ghost at a gravestone - Halloween cross stitch design

Happy ghost at a gravestone - Halloween cross stitch design

Colour DMC Number Anchor Number
Black 310

White 5200

Grey 647

Green 987


Hello everyone
Heres another kid friendly Halloween themed design of a Happy ghost hanging out at a graveyard.

These cute Halloween designs are to help decorate trick or treat candy bags or Halloween parties with something thematically appropriate to the season but not overly scary.
Chloe is going trick or treating with me as a cat. Shes even been practicing putting on her own face paint. Shes really good at it too! But then again she has been watching loads of Youtube videos on the subject.
As for me I shall be walking the girls around to trick or treat (at houses we know only) as a spooky vampire. I whipped up a cloak for the costume in about an hour a few years ago. (well the kids didn't tell me they desperately wanted me to come with them until the day.) But actually the method was really quick and easy and I've worn it a few times since then.
So I may have to pop up a few posts sometime about how to make some last minute accessories for your costume. But maybe that'll have to wait for next year.

I must go. I still have to help glue on the glitter to a pair of tiny fairy wings for a friends little girl. And oh dear, she wants dolly to have a matching set too. I have my work cut out. Bye for now!

For more Halloween themed designs here are some links:
Simple sweet themed Trick or Treat Bag
I Love my Mummy simple Halloween motif
Pumpkin Alphabet
Jack O' Lantern Coaster designs for Halloween
Cute ghost coming out of a pumpkin
Cute cat in a pumpkin
Cute ghost giving a gift
Halloween Haunted house silhouette cross stitch design
Pentagram for Altar cloth
Butterfly inspired sugar skull cross stitch design
Witches bookshelf - small bookmark cross stitch design
Sad ghost at a gravestone

 For the Buzy Bobbins Index page Click here.

Friday 9 October 2015

Christmas Angel playing a trumpet - Christmas Card cross stitch design

Christmas Angel playing a trumpet cross stitch design

Colour Used in these areas: DMC Number Anchor Number
Black Outlines 310

Brown Skintone 422

Dark brown Hair colour 433

Green Dress
White Wings and decoration on bottom of dress

This design was drawn originally with Anchor colours in my cross stitch design program. Use Anchor threads to get the closest match to the picture. I used a conversion chart to get the DMC numbers.

Hello everyone heres a cross stitch design of a cute little angel playing a trumpet.
This angel is a very simple design with whole stitches only, though if you fancy the backstitch you could add a face but I left it off this time.
This style is based on the drawings of my lovely niece. She saw me attempting to draw people and quite badly too so she showed me how she draws people and fairies. I loved the very simplistic arms and legs just peeking out of the large dress that she likes to draw so I neatened up the style a little and drew a few angels just like she does.

So this post may be a little early for Christmas but I thought it was just about the right time to get a few simple card sized designs out there so I can get started making sure I have enough to send to my friends and family.

For more Christmas designs here are some links:

Christmas stocking maze
Christmas bauble collection
Gingerbread people
Colourful Christmas Crackers
Christmas bauble maze
Cute advent calendar motifs
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse - card and bookmark design.
Pengiun in a Christmas hat
Making friends - Santas Elf making a snowman
Fur topped stocking Christmas card design.
Sprouts! Just say no! Christmas cross stitch design for sprout haters!
Wavy Christmas tree - Simple Christmas card cross stitch design
Simple cross stitched Christmas gift tag designs

 For the Buzy Bobbins Index page Click here.

Wednesday 7 October 2015

The Luggage - Discworld Cross stitch design

The Luggage from Discworld cross stitch design

Hello everyone,
I have been re-reading my Discworld books and fondly remembering just how much I used to love them as a child. I would end up huddled in my blankets reading these books, imaging the worlds and rich characters within.
My favourite character was the luggage so here's a design based on this rather odd little piece of equipment.
This first picture is based on the luggage in his (or her) adventures in The Last Continent where he gets renamed to Trunkie and wears a great number of high heels.

In the original text the heels are red, I used pink here because it looked nicer with the brown I thought Sapient Pearwood may be. For a more accurate picture please feel free to swap the pink for red embroidery thread.

Heres a version of the luggage without the high heels for those who want to represent this character as seen in other books in the series.


Colour Used in these areas: DMC Number Anchor Number
Black Outlines 310

White Teeth White

Light Pink Legs 819

Yellow Metal bands on luggage 3078

Brown Wooden areas on luggage 3778

Dark brown Inside the mouth/lid 434

Dark pink High heels (on high heeled version of luggage only) 893


For the Buzy Bobbins Index page Click here.

Sunday 4 October 2015

How to make a Pokemon Gastly Halloween decoration

How to make a Pokemon Gastly Halloween decoration

Hello everyone,
Heres another idea on how to use up your old and worn Christmas baubles

I'm trying something a little different with this tutorial by providing a drawn painting diagram instead of just photographs to help make everything really clear, Please feel free to let me know in the comments what instructions you prefer.

What you will need:
Old Purple or black baubles (depends on what Pokemon generation you want your Gastly to be from, they started out black but have become purple over the course of the games)
Arcylic paint
Paintbrushes - you will need at least one thin one for the details.
Netting In purple or blue if your Gastly is the shiny version.
Strong craft glue
Paint sealant spray (optional)

Before you start:
Get your bauble and make sure theres no excess dust or dirt on it, a quick wipe will do for most baubles which have been in storage and are just a bit dusty. Don't forget to pop some paper under your painting area to avoid accidental mess.

Step 1:
Place your bauble in a suitably sized cup so that you can paint on it without it rolling away. If your cups are too big I found that placing tissue in the bottom of a cup can help keep the bauble steady.

Now as shown on the diagram below use white paint to paint on the eyes and a dusky pink paint to draw a nice wide grin. Let the paint dry.

Step 2:
Use a light pink to draw on the Gastly's tongue in the bottom section of the mouth. Using white paint and a small brush paint on two pointed triangles for the teeth. Let the paint dry before the next step.

Step 3:
Using your very thin brush outline the eyes, mouth and teeth. Then pop some ovals inside the eyes to make the pupils.

Step 4: (optional)
Spray your bauble with paint sealant following the packet instructions. This will help your paint stay on longer. But as always this is an optional step.

Step 5: 
Once everything is dry its now time to add the netting to  represent Gastly's smoke trail.
To do this I took the netting and cut a rectangle shape out of it. The size of your rectangle depends on how much you want the netting to flare out behind the bauble. Make it smaller if you will be displaying the bauble where there isn't too much room.
Then take one side of the netting fold it in a concertina effect before laying that against the bauble and glue it down when you are happy with the effect.
Since netting is springy you may need to hold the glued areas down a little while before putting the bauble down properly to dry.

Once the netting is dry you can hang your Gastly up with the rest of your Halloween decorations.

I hope everyone has as much fun with these as I did. I'm a big Pokemon fan and so wanted an excuse to hang a ghost Pokemon in with my other ghostly decorations.

For more ideas on how to re-use your old Christmas baubles can be found here:

Christmas Bauble Upcycling

For Halloween cross stitch designs here are some links:
Simple sweet themed Trick or Treat Bag
I Love my Mummy simple Halloween motif
Pumpkin Alphabet
Jack O' Lantern Coaster designs for Halloween
Cute ghost coming out of a pumpkin
Cute cat in a pumpkin
Cute ghost giving a gift
Happy Ghost at a gravestone
Halloween Haunted house silhouette cross stitch design
Pentagram for Altar cloth
Butterfly inspired sugar skull cross stitch design
Witches bookshelf - small bookmark cross stitch design
Sad ghost at a gravestone

For the Buzy Bobbins Index page Click here.